Sun January 19, 2014
I'm Maria Filosa from WDIY and you're listening to Tasty Seasonal Recipes for the Everyday Chef.
After eating my way through the holidays, indulging in cakes, cookies, rich foods and the like, it is nice to take a break and eat something that is light and easy to make, can be sweet or savory and can also be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until I want it. I'm talking about crepes. Crepes originated in France's Brittany Region. At first they were made with buckwheat flour as white flour was very expensive and only for the rich. They were most often served as a sweet dessert but today you can see crepes used in all types of dishes from appetizer to dessert.
They are really quite easy to make with just a few basic ingredients. You will need a frying pan, I like to use a non-stick pan, flour, eggs, milk and butter. If you want sweet crepes, you can add sugar or honey, for savory dishes add some herbs, onions or garlic.
Basically you need to make a very thin batter that can easily spread in your frying pan. So once you mix the ingredients, if you find the batter too thick, simply add more milk or water, if it is too thin and your crepes are breaking easily, add a tablespoon or two of flour. The measurements can vary but generally you need to mix 1 cup of flour, two eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of salt. I like to use my blender to thoroughly mix the batter until it is very smooth. Heat up the frying pan on a medium setting and pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the center swirling the pan as you pour to spread the batter as thin as possible. Let it cook about 1 minute or until you can slip a spatula under it easily. All in one motion, flip the crepe over and cook another 30 seconds to a minute. Remove the crepe to a dish to cool. Continue making crepes letting each one cool before layering on top of each other separated by wax paper. They store well in the refrigerator 2-3 days.
If you need to make gluten-free crepes, substitute the 1 cup of flour with 1/8 cup each of tapioca starch, potato flour, brown rice flour and bean flour. You will be using less flour because the gluten-free flours tend to soak up more liquid. You can also make them dairy-free by using almond, rice or coconut milk in place of cow's milk and sunflower or coconut oil in place of the butter. For egg-free versions, use 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water for each egg you replace.
Now for the good part, the fillings! Easy sweet desserts can be made by filling your crepe with sliced berries, jam, whipped cream, bananas, caramel or pudding. Fold in half or quarters then drizzle the top with chocolate or fruit sauce. Make a very elegant looking dessert by layering crepes, sliced fruit and whipped cream on a plate like a cake. Freeze it before serving and you will be able to cut it into quarters or long slices. Or how about setting up a dessert bar with pre-made crepes and various fillings then let your guests make their own?
For a luncheon, provide pre-made crepes, fillings such as bacon, eggs, lunch meat, cooked ground meat, hummus, or ricotta cheese then bowls of dressings or sauces. Appetizers are easy, too. Spread crepes with a thin layer of filling then roll them up and wrap in plastic wrap. Place rolls in the refrigerator for at least an hour then slice them into spiral looking rounds. For even more flavor, place a bit of cheese on each spiral then place them in the oven until the cheese melts.
So no matter what time of day or night, the crepe fits the bill when it comes to easy, light dining adventures. I'm Maria Filosa, thanks for listening to Tasty Seasonal Recipes for the Everyday Chef. Have a bountiful day!